Global Politics

President Trump, how can relations between you and the media be improved?

President Donald Trump (r) looks toward a crowd of reporters who hold microphones and point cameras in his direction.

President Donald Trump looks toward a crowd of reporters as he arrives at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on March 21, 2017. 

Credit:

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Over President Donald Trump's first 100 days, we're asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs.

#95. @realDonaldTrump, how can relations between you and the media be improved? #100Days100Qs

This Saturday, reporters, government officials and celebrities will gussy up for an evening of comedy and camaraderie at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

But there is one esteemed guest who has decided that he’ll sit the party out this year.

Instead of rubbing elbows with capitol elites, Trump will be heading to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he will hold a rally to commemorate the first 100 days of his presidency.

Trump’s visit to the Keystone State will make him the first president to miss the White House Correspondents’ Dinner since Ronald Reagan, who skipped the event in 1981 because he was recovering from an assassination attempt.

A bullet in the chest may have kept Reagan from attending, but it didn’t stop him from calling in and saying a few words over the phone.

In fact, in nearly 100 years of annual dinners hosted by the White House Correspondents’ Association, every president has attended at least once during their term in office.

But Trump isn’t the only one who has bucked tradition by making other plans. Several news outlets — including Time, People, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker — have canceled parties that they usually host alongside the dinner.

Trump’s decision to skip what is usually a lighthearted, congenial affair is only the latest development in the president’s complicated relationship with the press.

During his first 100 days in office, President Trump has regularly lambasted the press for trucking in what he likes to call “fake news.” He has tweeted that the New York Times is failing, even though the paper’s stock price has increased 30 percent since Trump was elected in November. He has shown an affinity for conservative leaning outlets like Breitbart and Fox News while blocking others from daily press briefings. And he has proposed a federal budget that would completely cut funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (Full disclosure: at times, PRI has received funding directly from CPB, though not currently.)

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did say that Trump may attend next year’s dinner on the condition that “things go better” between the fourth estate and the executive office. So what will that take? Click here to tweet that question to the president.

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